What Does A Brickmason and Blockmason Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Brickmasons and Blockmasons

Brickmasons and Blockmasons lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete block, cinder block, glass block, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances, to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures.

Salary
$58420
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality
Interest Match





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Brickmasons and Blockmasons lay and bind building materials, such as brick, structural tile, concrete block, cinder block, glass block, and terra-cotta block, with mortar and other substances, to construct or repair walls, partitions, arches, sewers, and other structures.

  • Measure distance from reference points and mark guidelines to lay out work, using plumb bobs and levels.
  • Construct corners by fastening in plumb position a corner pole or building a corner pyramid of bricks, and filling in between the corners using a line from corner to corner to guide each course, or layer, of brick.
  • Apply and smooth mortar or other mixture over the work surface.
  • Calculate angles and courses and determine the vertical and horizontal alignment of courses.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Brickmasons and Blockmasons apply and smooth mortar or other mixture over the work surface. They remove excess mortar with trowels and hand tools, and finish mortar joints with jointing tools, for a sealed, uniform appearance.

A typical day for a Brickmason and Blockmason will also include:

  • Measure distance from reference points and mark guidelines to lay out work, using plumb bobs and levels.
  • Clean working surface to remove scale, dust, soot, or chips of brick and mortar, using a broom, wire brush, or scraper.
  • Fasten or fuse brick or other building material to structure with wire clamps, anchor holes, torch, or cement.
  • Construct corners by fastening in plumb position a corner pole or building a corner pyramid of bricks, and filling in between the corners using a line from corner to corner to guide each course, or layer, of brick.
  • Break or cut bricks, tiles, or blocks to size, using a trowel edge, hammer, or power saw.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Brickmasons and Blockmasons also remove burned or damaged brick or mortar, using a sledgehammer, crowbar, chipping gun, or chisel. They may also examine brickwork or structure to determine the need for repair.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Brickmasons and Blockmasons mix specified amounts of sand, clay, dirt, or mortar powder with water to form refractory mixtures. They might also interpret blueprints and drawings to determine specifications and to calculate the materials required.

In addition, they clean the working surfaces to remove scale, dust, soot, or chips of brick and mortar, using a broom, wire brush, or scraper.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them fasten or fuse brick or other building material to structure with wire clamps, anchor holes, torch, or cement.

To some Brickmasons and Blockmasons, it is also their responsibility to spray or spread refractory material over brickwork to protect against deterioration.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
0%

Limited freedom
16%

Some freedom
72%

A lot of freedom
12%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
6%

Limited freedom
15%

Some freedom
52%

A lot of freedom
26%


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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

High

52% said they were satisfied with their job and 57% said they found their job meaningful.


James Cutajar

My name is James and for 15 years I’ve been a brickmason in Malta where bricks weigh approx 40kg.

Being a brickmason is a satisfying job where you get to see a creation taking place. On the other hand, it’s a hard job. Not only is the job challenging but we also face all the elements like rain, wind, and the 40 degree temperatures in summer.

A typical day usually starts before the sun has come up. I’m usually on site before the sun rises unless it’s the longer summer days.

Most often a site foreman takes care of organizing all his workers. In the meantime, we will have discussed what part of the construction site we are going to be working on for that day or week.

My responsibilities include placement of windows and doors, what height lintels and concrete slab are coming (as to end the bricks at the right level).

Placement of walls, doors, and lintel, and slab height are marked by the surveyor. But I always give a second check and confirm with the plan.

One thing to keep in mind is that everyone is waiting for the brick Mason to finish his job. I constantly get complaints that the concrete carpenters and steel fixers will soon finish their job and need to start closing the part I’m working in. That is the most stressful part.

It is also imperative to have a clear working space. Although cleaning isn’t my job, it is my responsibility to communicate with the site foreman to send over the labor guys for any clearing up. Having the working space organized also helps work more comfortably and most of all it is much safer.

Once all the above has been settled, which I do before the working day starts since I’m self-employed, I prepare the mortar and communicate with the crane operator to send over the bricks I will need.

The rest of the day I will be lining the bricks on the wall, next, giving mortar and placing the bricks, and cutting the joint.

Once 6/7 courses are in place, I prepare a platform for the remaining 4 or 5 courses. A standard storey is between 275cm and 290 depending on what needs to be done beneath the finish floor level: ie: drainage, electrical, water pipes, etc.

Typically an apartment of 1500 sq feet takes 2 weeks to complete the masonry work. And it is rare to be on a project of just 1 apartment on each storey.

In the case of a block of apartments, once the masonry work is complete on one apartment, the carpenters come in and the brick Mason moves on to the next apartment. And so on for the entire project.

James Cutajar also runs The Travel Deck, a travel website focusing on South East Asia.


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work outdoors.

It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Salary is below average.

How much do they make

Average salary

$58420 per year

Average hourly wage

$28 per hour

Entry-level Brickmasons and Blockmasons with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $34,250 to $43,220 per year or $16 to $21 per hour.

Salary range Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $43 $89,380
Senior (Top 25%) $33 $69,440
Middle (Mid 50%) $26 $55,080
Junior (Bottom 25%) $21 $43,220
No experience (Bottom 10%) $16 $34,250

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
3%

40 hours
74%

More than 40 hours
23%

Working schedule

17%

83%

0%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
0%

Fairly important
8%

Important
8%

Very important
34%

Extremely important
51%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
26%

Fairly important
25%

Important
8%

Very important
30%

Extremely important
11%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
3%

Fairly important
18%

Important
36%

Very important
35%

Extremely important
7%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
18%

Every day
18%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
18%

Every day
57%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
11%

Every day
64%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
45%

Once a year
14%

Once a month
14%

Once a week
27%

Every day
0%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
6%

Once a year
11%

Once a month
46%

Once a week
37%

Every day
0%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
3%

Once a year
18%

Once a month
19%

Once a week
60%

Every day
0%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
34%

Once a year
35%

Once a month
28%

Once a week
3%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
0%

Slightly competitive
3%

Moderately competitive
58%

Highly competitive
39%

Extremely competitive
0%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
29%

Fairly important
18%

Important
22%

Very Important
24%

Extremely Important
6%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
0%

Minor impact
16%

Moderate impact
22%

Important impact
55%

Very important impact
7%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
8%

Once a year
19%

Once a month
0%

Once a week
47%

Every day
26%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
0%

Limited responsibility
21%

Moderate responsibility
10%

High responsibility
43%

Very high responsibility
26%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
0%

Limited responsibility
18%

Moderate responsibility
34%

High responsibility
11%

Very high responsibility
37%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
32%

Once a year or more
68%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
3%

Once a year or more
28%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
8%

Every day
61%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
0%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
3%

Every day
97%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
6%

Once a year or more
33%

Once a month or more
21%

Once a week or more
30%

Every day
9%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Easy
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category usually don’t require a degree. However, you will need a few months of on-the-job training with experienced employees. Similar careers include Customer Service Representatives, Security Guards, and Bank Tellers.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
13%

High School Diploma or equivalent
70%

Post-Secondary Certificate
0%

Some College Courses
13%

Associate’s Degree or similar
3%

Bachelor’s Degree
0%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
22%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
8%

3 to 6 months
2%

6 months to 1 year
5%

1 to 2 years
18%

2 to 4 years
36%

4 to 6 years
0%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
8%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
17%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
8%

3 to 6 months
9%

6 months to 1 year
5%

1 to 2 years
6%

2 to 4 years
40%

4 to 10 years
15%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality for this career
The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

100%

62%

38%

14%

19%

62%

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

FAQ


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